> But when you are starting the whole "software patents have no good sides to them at all" you just show yourself as someone totally detached from reality - and so make all your other argument suspicious too.
Oh, there are good sides to software patents. For the patent holders, that is.
Once again, history is forgotten. Software was being developed _without_ patents just fine. But, as usual, lawyers have found an angle, so they pursued it. And now we have the mess, as you said yourself.
> But it's no coincidence that this area is so heavily patented - and to ignore the fact is to throw out the baby with the bath water...
Coming back to your original remark:
> Patent-encumbered formats were developed faster then totally free ones - and diffirence is sizable: years, not days or months.
The only question here is this: if software patents were not available, would the same companies develop digital video at the time?
Your answer to this question is "probably not" (i.e. maybe there is something to having software patents after all).
I'm pretty sure they would. Said companies would licence their product differently - using just copyright - but they'd do it just the same. Even 20 years ago people understood Moore's law. They knew processing power in the future would make digital players cheaper than analogue ones. The also knew that storage would improve, making it practical to have a superior digital recording on a medium that can actually hold it. And they knew that if they didn't keep improving their products, nobody would want to buy them.
So, yeah, I _really_ do think that software patents are a terrible idea. Digital video included. If this makes me a lunatic, then fine.